Slideshow SLIDESHOW: GABF Highlights: 15 Unique Brews from the Great American Beer Festival 2011

[Photographs: Chris Lehault]

For some, the Great American Beer Festival is mostly an exciting competition, pitting the country's best brewpubs and breweries against each other for the coveted gold medal. For others, it's a party, celebrating the explosion of craft beer with nearly 50,000 of your newest friends, one ounce at a time. And for others, it's mostly a chance to geek out on the country's best brews under one rooftop for three days straight.

At this year's 30th anniversary event, we probably fell somewhere between the second and third category...seeking out rare, coveted beers but also realizing that without the crowds and the crazies, well, it just wouldn't be a "festival." Today, we wanted to highlight some of the most unique offerings at GABF: 15 non-traditional beers you might not see anywhere else. Check out the slideshow for a few of the highlights.

About the author: Christopher Lehault is a Brooklyn based homebrewer, cider evangelist and craft beer documentarian. When not viewing the world through the bottom of his glass, he's looking at it through his lens at idrunkthat.com. Follow him on twitter at @idrunkthat.

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